It’s over a decade since Baby Manjima quit the scene but her bubbly act and innocent smile still lingers in our minds. Manjima, the “cute kid in Priyam and Maduranombarakattu,” charmed her way into our hearts and bagged the state award for best child actor before leaving movies for studies.
Now, the beautiful Manjima is back to where she belongs. She will play the lead lady to Nivin Pauly in ‘Oru Vadakkan Selfie’ directed by Prajith G and scripted by Vineeth Sreenivasan.
So, how does it feel to be back? “It is same like any other debutante. I am a bag of nerves. People assume that since I have faced camera as a kid, I must be familiar with all the hullabaloo. But, I don’t even remember what happened then. It was like taking a holiday. So, this is a fresh experience for me,” says Manjima.
But, being the daughter of cinematographer Vipin Mohan, movies never really went off her radar and somewhere in her mind, she wanted to be back. So, when the director, whom she had known for quite some time, spoke to her father about the character and how Manjima would fit the bill, she was sure of her destiny.
“When my father asked me whether I wanted to face the camera again through Prajith’s movie, I was least apprehensive. Because, the team behind it was one of the best, Vineeth’s script, Prajith’s direction and Nivin Pauly as the lead actor. I knew this would be a good launchpad,” says Manjima.
She will play Daisy, a silent girl who has an aim in life, in ‘Oru Vadakkan Selfie’. The movie traces how the character played by Nivin Pauly and Aju Varghese get mired into an issue that concerns Daisy.
“It is a meaty role and the movie has a strong romantic angle. There is everything that interests people in the movie. It’s a total fun ride,” says the actor.
But, was the second innings more satisfying? “As a child actor, you just do what the director says and then you run around and have all the fun. But, this time around, the initial days were that of tension. I wasn’t at all confident. The first few days of the shoot were terrifying. But, as days passed, things began to fall on track. I had known Vineeth Sreenivasan all my life but I never met Nivin and Aju Varghese before the movie. But, they warmed up to me and that made me comfortable. If I have done anything commendable in the movie, that’s because of the entire crew who were very friendly towards me,” says Manjima.
She says that ‘Oru Vadakkan Selfie’ was a great learning experience too. “As a debutante, it was a perfect training ground. Nivin is not a person who interferes in anybody’s work but he always gave valuable suggestion as to how I could do better,” says Manjima.
Manjima, who is doing her degree in Mathematics at Stella Maris, Chennai, says offers are pouring in. “But, I want to be a bit choosy. Malayalis still love me through my child characters and I don’t want to lose all the affection,” signs off Manjima.